In the journey for a more mindful, intentional, authentic life, I find myself less willing to interact with those who are not genuine. I can often tell when someone is just saying something to make me feel better, or make themselves look better, and I quickly lose interest because it’s all fake. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I strongly believe in acting from a place of being genuine. If you don’t care how my day is, just don’t ask. Maybe others don’t agree with this sentiment, but it brings light to a larger topic, one that has hit home for me today.
I am currently working in an environment where I talk to a lot of people, albeit for a very brief time, and today I was reminded of how robotic we have become in our communications. “Thank you,” “How are you?” and “Have a nice day!” have become nothing more than generic phrases used in customer service that hold little* meaning. I say little because sometimes it is genuine and the person muttering the phrase means it. I have made the choice to say thank you when appropriate, but when I tell people to have a nice day, I mean it. And I can feel the energy behind the words is different when I mean it. My tone is different, my heart feels different. That is genuine.
Today, someone came up to me and said, “How are you today?”. It took me a second to respond because I was engaged in the transaction he was doing, but then I said, “I am just fine, thank you for asking.” He looked very puzzled and asked what I had said. I repeated, “You asked how I was today and I said I was fine, thank you for asking.” He then said, “Oh,…I asked that?” He then walked away a bit perplexed. I had a brief moment where I felt a little silly, but then my heart sank a bit. Sometimes in the busy monotony of work, it’s easy to get into routine. I hadn’t really thought much about mindful communication, and had settled into a routine. I was partly sad that I’ve gotten comfortable and forgotten on many occasions to stay mindful in my work and be genuine. But I was mostly sad for humanity, represented through this man who was acting no differently than most others. As I was walking down a busy hallway later, I felt very alone and almost even invisible. The people around me are like zombies (heavily caffeinated and sugared, at that) who are running around trying to please, get ahead and fit into society and have lost touch with themselves, each other, and the greater interconnectedness of it all. I’ve been there; this isn’t a high-horse scenario that I’m getting at. It’s about being aware, being mindful, and projecting that outward in an AUTHENTIC way.
My hope for everone today is to be mindful in our communications. What we say, how we say it and even what we don’t say carry enormous weight. Speak from a place of love, from every part of you, and be mindful in your communication choices. We can all work on this.
Let me know how it goes. Even if you just work on mindful communication with one person, in one scenario today, you will begin to create a shift in perspective and habits.
Thank you (truly) for reading.
As I was driving to yoga after posting the discussion about mindful communications, I realized I left out one sentence I find to be quite important.
It’s not necssarily wrong (or bad or inappropriate or….) to say something we don’t mean or to be polite and ask someone how they are if we don’t really care, the point is to try to make conscious choices about what we are going to say (or not say) and try to be aware of the impact they may have (or not have).
I hope this clarifies.